Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Village Shoppers eyes huge expansion

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OSBORNE Village's most bustling corner could be headed for a major revamp, as one retailer looks to stretch its footprint.

The Shoppers Drug Mart at 43 Osborne St. is tabling a proposal that would see it buy and take over the current sites of independent film haunt Movie Village and Vietnamese restaurant Vi-Ann. The purchase would allow the drugstore to more than double the size of its aging 10,048-square-foot location, expanding south into the River-Osborne retail complex.

The proposed development would see one new parking spot and 7,600 square feet of retail space added to the Shoppers strip, along with a partial second storey of offices and storage space. A design flyer recently distributed to Osborne Village businesses and residences shows a proposed building swathed in red brick with tall windows that echo the vintage buildings nearby.

The proposal also calls for a covered pedestrian walkway to join the Shoppers to the Safeway next door, a feature that figured prominently in public discussions earlier this year. "As something important to the community... we're maintaining that," said David Jopling, a senior planner with land-use consultant MMM Group, which is working with Shoppers Drug Mart on the redevelopment.

The proposal will go before the city's board of adjustment for approval on Dec. 21.

Consultants with MMM Group will hold a public open house tonight at Holy Rosary Church, 510 River Ave., to discuss the new plans. Visitors will be able to view designs and chat with representatives from 4 to 7 p.m.

The new proposal marks the second time this year the Shoppers at River and Osborne has eyed expansion. In March, the Shoppers unveiled its first redevelopment vision, which called for the addition of a second storey that would jut out over the parking lot. That plan would have removed a handful of parking spots, added bike racks and almost doubled the store's size.

City planners recommended the application be approved, but the proposal was eventually dropped.

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2011 B4

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Updated on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 12:54 PM CST: corrects that plan would add one new parking spot, not one new parking lot

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